President’s Post – June 2019

Good Bye and Hello

Eric Imley & Gale Swartz, Co-Presidents

We sit here humbled as we reflect on all that has happened in this year of transition and are tremendously grateful for the friendship, leadership and wisdom of our ‘coach and cheerleader’ Rabbi Kohn.

“Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

As Temple Presidents, we have had weekly (almost) meetings with Rabbi Kohn, generally in his office discussing the many things operationally, emotionally and spiritually that has sustained us this year and will set TBE on a path moving forward during this uncertain time of transition. Seeing those wonderfully appealing ceramic donuts that he keeps on his coffee table always garner some kind of joking comment between us. He has brought to us a wealth of knowledge, experience, wisdom and guidance dealing with the personal sides of transitions. It’s hard to remember if there were any conversations with him that didn’t require a dictionary! Recently, we were discussing our feelings of personal loss of our coach as we say good-bye. He assured us that he has come to love Temple Beth El and will always be available to us no matter where he is, a tradition he keeps with all of his congregations. He has also collaborated whole-heartedly in our preparations for Rabbi Kail. We are grateful for his patient guidance on the many things to take into consideration during our next transition, the typical mistakes that are made and how to avoid them, the detailed and meticulous notes he’s leaving behind to help facilitate an easy transition for Rabbi Cassi Kail.

As Rabbi Kohn keeps reminding us, our transition work is not yet complete just because we’ve hired our settled Rabbi. There is much work ahead of us as we welcome Rabbi Cassi, Josh, Noam and Talia to the TBE family. Dina Dreizler has enthusiastically agreed to chair the ‘welcoming sub-committee’ and she and her committee are already planning to create opportunities for Rabbi Cassi to get to know us better and vice versa. We will be working closely with the entire transition committee over this next year. We welcome all input you may have on any aspect of the transition. There will be additional information and communication as plans firm up.

Rabbi Kohn and Susan came to us as strangers eleven months ago and leave us as friends with a common love and vision for the future success of Temple Beth El. We speak for the entire community when we say ‘Thank you’, to them, such small words that contain so much. Please plan to attend our June 15, 2019 Gala where we will be celebrating Rabbi Kohn’s year with us. Details are in this Kol Beit El, on our website, Tuesday mailers and the video monitors in the lobby

As we write this message to you, a simple Beatles tune keeps running through our heads, “you say goodbye, and I say hello. Hello, hello”